Pets are often seen as part of the family. This means it can be just as scary to hear they need surgery as if a loved one did. If bladder or kidney stones are the cause of your pet’s malaise, then the veterinarian may mention using urology lasers to treat the issue. It might sound scary, but these lasers and procedures are very similar to how humans are treated for the same issues. Usually, the doctor will assess the problem with cystoscopy and then, if needed, follow up with lithotripsy.
The word may sound scary, but this procedure is like a recon mission to asses the situation inside your pet. Animals are usually put under anesthesia during this process. The doctor will take a small tube and insert it into the suspected area of affliction. This gives him or her a better visual than on an X-ray or ultrasound, so it is easier to see what is going on inside the animal. If the doctor finds stones that might not be passed naturally, they may suggest lithotripsy.
This procedure mimics how doctors might treat kidney stones in a human because they can cause similar problems in pets. Stones in the bladder or kidney could block urine passage, leading to infection or even damage of the organ. They also often cause quite a bit of pain. In lithotripsy, the doctor uses a precise laser to send shock waves that will break up the stones. After the stones are in more manageable sizes, the doctor can vacuum out any large pieces that could still cause complications. After the large fragments are gone, a stent is typically placed in the ureter to ensure proper passage of waste.
If your doctor mentions your pet needing these procedures, just remember that it is simple and also done on most humans.